Not only is the Alocasia a sight for sore eyes, it also has many stories to tell! Did you know, for example, that it gives a signal if it got too much or too little water? Or that the Alocasia is the one and only beanstalk, from “Jack and the Beanstalk”? Read on and discover all fun facts about this fascinating indoor plant!
Plant fact #1: The Alocasia as a fairy tale character
Everyone knows Jack and the Beanstalk. As a child, you’d read the story in a fairy tale book, saw it in a movie, or you had your parents read it to you before bed. At the time, you probably never dreamed that you would ever have an actual beanstalk in your living room! Yet there might be a good chance that you did, as Alocasia is quite a popular houseplant. If you look closely, you will recognize the characteristic long stalks and large leaves of the Alocasia in almost all fictional beanstalks. This was the plant portrayed in all Western and Eastern versions of the fairy tale. Although of course the Alocasia is a tad smaller than the beanstalk that Jack climbed :-).
Plant fact #2:
What would a fairy tale be without a life lesson? From “be yourself” to “hakuna matata,” there is always a message to unravel. In the case of Jack and the Beanstalk, the “beanstalk” – or Alocasia – is central to this message. The plant is a symbol, which represents the lesson that one should seize opportunities, even when they are risky.
Plant fact #3: The Alocasia communicates
Communication is important in every relationship, including the relationship with your green roommates. And the Alocasia is quite good at it. The houseplant gives a signal if it has received too much or too little water. When given too much water, it will “sweat”! The plant carries away the excess moisture this way, a process called “guttation”. You can prevent this by giving a little less water next time. Also be careful not to give too little water: the tropical plant is a true fan of moist and warm conditions! It grows best when the earth is constantly slightly moist. If not, its leaves will hang down.
Plant fact #4: Alocasia, what big ears you have!
Thanks to its large leaves, the Alocasia Gaganea is also called the Elephant Ear plant. In tropical rain forests – where the plant is originally from – the leaves are used for shelter by all kinds of forest inhabitants. As leaves can grow up to 1.5 meters, there’s plenty of room.